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Performance Pipe Sustainability

Performance Pipe

When selecting a piping material, careful consideration of performance, reliability, durability and long-term cost effectiveness must be taken into perspective. Polyethylene (PE) has become one of the world’s most widely used and recognized piping materials since its discovery in 1933. Applications for PE pipe are broad, ranging across multiple industries. The advantages of PE are well known and have gained approval according to national and worldwide AWWA, ASTM and NSF standards.

Below are a few selected features and benefits of PE and why it’s the piping material of choice.

Lifecycle Cost Savings

The combination of an extremely smooth inside surface and the exceptional flow characteristics of PE pipe is key to reducing total system operating cost for municipalities. Construction and installation costs are reduced compared to other piping material due to the flexibility and lightweight nature of the material. A properly installed PE pipe system can reduce repair, operational and maintenance costs throughout its long design life.

Fully Restrained Joints for a leak-free system 

The allowable water leakage for PE pipe is zero, compared to greater than 10% for other piping products. For municipal applications, a properly fused joint eliminates the potential leakage points every 10 to 20 feet when using the bell and spigot type joints associated with other piping products. Fully restrained joints lead to a homogenous, leak-free piping system in which the joint is as strong or stronger than the parent pipe itself.


Without corrosion, biological growth or tuberculation of the pipe, PE’s hydraulic efficiency reduces electric consumption from over-running pumps. Less energy needed from pumps, along with the leak-free nature of the fusion process, leads to savings on rising utility costs. 

Flexible and Lightweight

The lightweight nature of the material means savings from fuel costs associated with delivery and transport of the material to the job site and the elimination of heavy lifting equipment for installation. Flexibility reduces the need for fittings and is forgiving in shifting soil or earthquake-prone areas. High flexibility also means a tighter bend radius and the ability to consolidate transportation packaging by the use of coils per applicable pipe size range.

Installation and Constructability

Installation methods such as horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting, sliplining, submergence, pipe floating and trenching are all possible with PE pipe. PE is the piping material of choice for trenchless installation, which can reduce restoration, roadway reconstruction, traffic disturbance and lane closures with less disruption to the surroundings. Installation below grade, above grade, and under rivers and lakes are all possible.